Many thanks to Tristan Morris for creating a beautiful illustrated hardcover print edition of the site


The Temple’s systems were experiencing sporadic failures when interacting with a document-registration service in the Far West. Java master Bawan chose to investigate.

To assist him, a liaison for the Western temple was dispatched from the next province. The liaison was an unkempt man with a noisy moped; his ability to translate technical language was his only redeeming quality.

“I have found the problem,” said Bawan to the liaison. “If the document title contains a right-apostrophe, that character does not appear when we retrieve the record. Please tell the Western Monks of this defect.”

The liaison returned to his province and phoned Bawan the following day.

“The monks assert that it is not a defect,” said the liaison. “They say: we do not support special characters.”

Bawan nodded. “Return to my temple tomorrow. Together we can make them understand.”

The following day the liaison rode his rattling moped up the Dying Moon Road. After passing a sign declaring ZJING’S BRIDGE in large red letters, he found himself crossing a vast gorge on a span of rope and plank. Directly ahead rose a magnificent stand of oaks and, beyond them, the towers of the temple. He was so entranced by the sight that he failed to notice that the planks were missing in the middle ten yards of the bridge. Thus the liaison found himself unexpectedly plummeting to the gorge below, moped and all.

Watching from the upper balcony in the East Tower, master Bawan nodded and went inside. He then summoned a junior monk from the cubicles downstairs.

“Take these to the far side of Zjing's Bridge,” he said, handing three pieces of wood to the monk. They were painted red and carved in the shapes of large letters: an O, a U, and a T.

“What are these?” asked the monk.

“Special characters,” replied the master.